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Lybbert T.J.,University of California at Davis | Zolas N.J.,Center for Economic Studies
Research Policy | Year: 2014

International technological diffusion is a key determinant of cross-country differences in economic performance. While patents can be a useful proxy for innovation and technological change and diffusion, fully exploiting patent data for such economic analyses requires patents to be tied to measures of economic activity. In this paper, we describe and explore a new algorithmic approach to constructing concordances between the International Patent Classification (IPC) system that organizes patents by technical features and industry classification systems that organize economic data, such as the Standard International Trade Classification (SITC) and the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC). This 'Algorithmic Links with Probabilities' (ALP) approach mines patent data using keywords extracted from industry descriptions and processes the resulting matches using a probabilistic framework. We compare the results of this ALP concordance to existing technology concordances. Based on these comparisons, we discuss advantages of this approach relative to conventional approaches. ALP concordances provide a meso-level mapping to industries that complements existing macro- and firm-level mappings - and open new possibilities for empirical patent analysis. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Andersson F.,Office of the Comptroller of the Currency | Garcia-Perez M.,St. Cloud State University | Haltiwanger J.,University of Maryland University College | McCue K.,Center for Economic Studies | Sanders S.,Duke University
Demography | Year: 2014

Casual observation suggests that in most U.S. urban labor markets, immigrants have more immigrant coworkers than native-born workers do. While seeming obvious, this excess tendency to work together has not been precisely measured, nor have its sources been quantified. Using matched employer–employee data from the U.S. Census Bureau Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics (LEHD) database on a set of metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) with substantial immigrant populations, we find that, on average, 37 % of an immigrant’s coworkers are themselves immigrants; in contrast, only 14 % of a native-born worker’s coworkers are immigrants. We decompose this difference into the probability of working with compatriots versus with immigrants from other source countries. Using human capital, employer, and location characteristics, we narrow the mechanisms that might explain immigrant concentration. We find that industry, language, and residential segregation collectively explain almost all the excess tendency to work with immigrants from other source countries, but they have limited power to explain work with compatriots. This large unexplained compatriot component suggests an important role for unmeasured country-specific factors, such as social networks. © 2014, Population Association of America.

Gross J.,Maastricht University | Woelbert E.,Maastricht University | Zimmermann J.,Maastricht University | Okamoto-Barth S.,Maastricht University | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2014

Humans can choose between fundamentally different options, such as watching a movie or going out for dinner. According to the utility concept, put forward by utilitarian philosophers and widely used in economics, this may be accomplished by mapping the value of different options onto a common scale, independent of specific option characteristics (Fehr and Rangel, 2011; Levy and Glimcher, 2012). If this is the case, value-related activity patterns in the brain should allow predictions of individual preferences across fundamentally different reward categories. We analyze fMRI data of the prefrontal cortex while subjects imagine the pleasure they would derive from items belonging to two distinct reward categories: Engaging activities (like going out for drinks, daydreaming, or doing sports) and snack foods. Support vector machines trained on brain patterns related to one category reliably predict individual preferences of the other category and vice versa. Further, we predict preferences across participants. These findings demonstrate that prefrontal cortex value signals follow a common scale representation of value that is even comparable across individuals and could, in principle, be used to predict choice. © 2014 the authors.

Vistnes J.,Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality | Zawacki A.,Center for Economic Studies | Simon K.,Indiana University Bloomington | Taylor A.,Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Health Services Research | Year: 2012

Objective To examine trends in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage rates and its associated components between 2000 and 2008, to provide a baseline for later evaluations of the Affordable Care Act, and to provide information to policy makers as they design the implementation details of the law. Data Sources Private sector employer data from the 2000, 2001, and 2008 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Insurance Component (MEPS-IC). Study Design We examine time trends in employer offer, eligibility, and take-up rates. We add a new dimension to the literature by examining dependent coverage and decomposing its trends. We investigate heterogeneity in trends by firm size. Data Collection The MEPS-IC is an annual survey, sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The MEPS-IC obtains information on establishment characteristics, whether an establishment offers health insurance, and details on up to four plans. Principal Findings We find that coverage rates for workers declined in both small and large firms. In small firms, coverage declined due to a drop in both offer and take-up rates. In the largest firms, offer rates were stable and the decline was due to falling take-up rates. In addition, enrollment shifted toward single coverage and away from dependent coverage in both small and large firms. For small firms, this shift was due to declining offer and take-up rates for dependent coverage. In large firms, offers of dependent coverage were stable but take-up rates dropped. Within the category of dependent coverage, the availability of employee-plus-one plans increased in all firm size categories, but take-up rates for these plans declined in small firms. © Health Research and Educational Trust.

Becker R.A.,Center for Economic Studies | Pasurka C.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency | Shadbegian R.J.,U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Journal of Environmental Economics and Management | Year: 2013

This paper examines whether the impact of environmental regulations differs by the size of the business. We consider the net effect of statutory, enforcement, and compliance asymmetries by estimating the relationship between plant size and pollution abatement expenditures, using establishment-level data on U.S. manufacturers from the Census Bureau's Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures (PACE) survey and from its Annual Survey of Manufactures and Census of Manufactures. We model establishments' pollution abatement operating costs (PAOC) per unit of economic activity as a function of establishment size, industry, state, and year. Our results show that PAOC intensity increases with establishment and firm size. © 2013.

Sarker D.,Center for Economic Studies
Economic Affairs | Year: 2011

The Forest Rights Act 2006 was designed to provide secure property rights to the forest dwellers of India. This paper analyses the effect of the legislation and finds that it has proved largely ineffective at meeting its objectives. There is evidence to suggest that the implementation of the Act has been undermined by bureaucratic interests. © 2011 Institute of Economic Affairs. Published by Blackwell Publishing, Oxford.

Becker R.A.,Center for Economic Studies
Ecological Economics | Year: 2011

This paper examines the impact of environmental regulation on the productivity of manufacturing plants in the United States. Establishment-level data from three Censuses of Manufactures are used to estimate 3-factor Cobb-Douglas production functions that include a measure of the stringency of environmental regulation faced by manufacturing plants. In contrast to previous studies, this paper examines effects on plants in all manufacturing industries, not just those in "dirty" industries. Further, this paper employs spatial-temporal variation in environmental compliance costs to identify effects, using a time-varying county-level index that is based on multiple years of establishment-level data from the Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures survey and the Annual Survey of Manufactures. Results suggest that, for the average manufacturing plant, there is no statistically significant effect on productivity of being in a county with higher environmental compliance costs. For the average plant, the main effect of environmental regulation may not be in the spatial and temporal dimensions. © 2011.

Becker R.A.,Center for Economic Studies
Land Economics | Year: 2011

This paper examines the extent of variation in regulatory stringency below the state level, using establishment-level data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Pollution Abatement Costs and Expenditures survey to estimate a county-level index of environmental compliance costs. County-level variation is found to explain 11 to 18 times more of the variation in environmental compliance costs than state-level variation alone, and the range of environmental compliance costs within a state is often large. At least 34% of U.S. counties have environmental compliance costs that are statistically different from their states'. Results suggest that important spatial variation is lost in state-level studies of environmental regulation. © 2011 by the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.

Kamal F.,Center for Economic Studies
Journal of Regional Science | Year: 2014

The clustering of economic activity is believed to generate both positive own-industry (localization) spillovers and negative competitive pressures. Using data on manufacturing enterprises operating in China during 1998-2006, this paper provides evidence on the net effect of opposing spillovers from nearby economic activity. Central to the analysis is the opportunity to distinguish local manufacturing enterprises by state, private, or foreign ownership. Systematic differences in average productivity of these firms enable inferences about differences in the strength of spillovers from one type of firm to another type. Results indicate that spillovers are larger within the same ownership type than they are across them, consistent with localization economies that operate within segmented channels of influence. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Becker R.A.,Center for Economic Studies
Water Resources Management | Year: 2016

Water can be a scarce resource, particularly in certain places at certain times. Understanding both water use and conservation efforts can help ensure that limited supplies can meet the demands of a growing population and economy. This paper examines water use and recirculation in the U.S. manufacturing sector, using newly recovered microdata from the Survey of Water Use in Manufacturing, merged with establishment-level data from the Annual Survey of Manufactures and the Census of Manufactures. Results suggest that water use per unit of output is largest for larger establishments, in part because larger establishments use water for more purposes. Larger establishments are also found to recirculate water more — satisfying demand (water use) without necessarily increasing water intake. Various costs also appear to play a role in water recirculation. In particular, the water circulation rate is found to be higher when water is purchased from a utility. Relatively low (internal) prices for self-supplied water could suppress the incentive to invest in recirculation. Meanwhile, establishments with higher per-gallon intake treatment costs also recirculate more, as might be expected. The cost associated with water discharge – due to regulation or otherwise – also increases circulation rates. The aridity of a locale is found to have little effect on circulation rates. © 2016 © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht (outside the USA)

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